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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 21st (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (11-12-4) at Nashville Predators (11-13-6), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators hope a return home can get their season back on track as they try to avoid a fifth straight loss in a meeting with the Calgary Flames.
The Predators dropped the final four of a five-game road trip to post their longest losing streak of the season. The swing came to an end in Columbus on Tuesday, when Nashville was handed a 4-3 defeat despite a late rally.
Chris Mueller and Mike Fisher scored goals 47 seconds apart inside the final 2:01 of the game, but time ran out on Nashville's comeback bid. Gabriel Bourque also had a goal, while Pekka Rinne made 27 saves.
"It's just frustrating to lose," Bourque admitted. "Nobody likes to lose but we just have to refocus as a group. We just have to keep working and everything will be alright."
Not helping is that the Preds played without Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad, Patric Hornqvist, Hal Gill and Scott Hannan due to injury on Tuesday.
Nashville will try to avoid losing five straight for the first time since Dec. 18-28, 2010 and will play its next four at home. The Predators are 6-2-4 as the hosting club this season.
One of the losses on the Preds recent road trip came in Calgary on March 15. Nashville was dealt a 6-3 loss for its sixth defeat in its past nine versus the Flames.
Curtis Glencross paced Calgary's offense with his second career hat trick, while Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist. Miikka Kiprusoff made 17 saves for the Flames.
Fisher, Bourque and David Legwand scored and Rinne was pulled after allowing goals on the first two shots of the game.
That win was the second in a row for the Flames overall, but they failed to extend the win streak thanks to Monday's 4-3 loss in Dallas.
Calgary was outshot 12-5 in the first period and trailed 3-0 before getting second-period power-play goals from Hudler and Jay Bouwmeester. Dallas restored a two-goal lead in the third period and the Flames' Alex Tanguay capped the scoring with 4:46 to play.
"We have to learn to play defense, plain and simple. If we can't play in our zone, it's pretty tough to win games," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said. "That's where championship teams start the building blocks from, and most definitely if you look at tonight we have a lot of work to do."
With Kiprusoff not available, Joey MacDonald made 20 saves in defeat. Kiprusoff has rejoined the team in Nashville following the birth of his second child.
Calgary fell to 0-6-1 in its last seven road games and had won six straight in Nashville before losing both trips there last season.
03/21 10:57:39 ET